Dinner Made Easy

I think women want to cook healthy food but either don’t know what ingredients to put together or simply don’t have the time or the energy at the end of the day to cook a meal. Cooking can be intimidating, but there are many recipes that are easy, healthy, and provide leftovers for a meal another day. I get it: the last thing a pregnant woman wants to do is stand over a stove for hours at the end of the day or face an hour’s worth of clean up after. Plus, no one wants to cook different meals to meet the needs or taste of each person in the family. Pregnant women, and their families, need an easy, healthy meal that the whole family can enjoy.

 

One Skillet Meals

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Photo by Sébastien Marchand

I teach women how to make one skillet creations: one pan, one meal. A dish that has enough protein, nutrients, fiber, and above all, taste to satisfy everyone. Meals like this can be made in advance, for example batch cooked on a weekend, so there are fresh meals for the middle of the week. They also make a great gift to bring someone since they store and reheat well. Many of these one skillet dishes contain only a few ingredients so there is no need to shop for special items.  

As an example, my skillet chicken and brussels sprouts provides enough protein, fiber, iron and other key nutrients without added fat, salt or sugars. Even if you’re not the best cook or completely new to cooking, this recipe is easy to make. Don’t like a specific ingredient? Substitute for what you like.  It’s not only healthy and tasty for a pregnant woman, but also for her partner, guests or family. The recipe can be doubled or tripled and any leftovers can be frozen for up to two months in an airtight container.

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Photo by Keenan Loo

Skillet Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 to 4 large chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Non-stick cooking spray or 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 slices of turkey bacon (optional)
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups or brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 medium apple, cored and cut into 8-10 slices (any kind of apple works)
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup of apple juice
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper
  3. Heat a large oven-proof skillet (preferably non-stick or cast iron) over medium high heat. Add chicken thighs, skin side down, to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes or until edges start to brown.
  4. Without turning chicken, add in the bacon if using and cook 2 more minutes. If not using bacon, add in brussels sprouts and apple slices now
  5. Stir brussels sprouts and apple slices around. Season lightly with salt and pepper
  6. Place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven (Careful! The pan will be extremely hot!) and stir the brussels sprouts and apples.  Turn the chicken over. Return to skillet to the oven for an additional 10 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven (again, the pan will be Hot!)  Let it rest about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, remove the brussels sprouts and apples to a plate. Leave as much of the juice in the pan as you can.
  9. Carefully put the skillet back on the stove on low heat. Carefully add in the red wine vinegar to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Scrape the bottom to loosen any bits of chicken or vegetables.
  10. Once the pan is deglazed (about 10-30 seconds), pour in the apple juice. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 2 to 5 minutes until sauce thickens and takes on a syrup-like consistency. Spoon over the chicken, brussels sprouts and apple pieces.

Featured photo by ANDRIK ↟ LANGFIELD ↟ PETRIDES

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